To Work or Not to Work? A Reevaluation of Correlates of Adolescent Employment

Constance T. Gager, Arizona State University
Jennifer M. Hickes, University of Pennsylvania

Considerable research attention in the adolescent literature has been paid to the adverse consequences of employment on youth development. Much of the debate in the literature revolves around whether early employment has adverse effects on educational outcomes or not. We enter into this debate to address shortcomings in previous research including a lack of attention to youth time use in activities beyond school and paid work and how time use varies by individual characteristics of youth including gender, race, and social class. In addition, our data allow us to include contextual factors presumed to influence the relationship between adolescent employment and educational outcomes, including objective and subjective measures of neighborhood and family context. We use the Survey of Parents and Youth (SPY), to examine how the effect of youth employment on educational outcomes varies by individual and contextual characteristics of youth in the U.S.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children